Today’s consumers are hyper-segmented. As a result, it’s no longer useful to speak to a general demographic. For marketers, that means building highly targeted campaigns. For example, moms with toddlers and moms with teens have wildly different needs and interests, just as young couples in NYC and those in rural Wyoming are living unique lifestyles. For companies, the key to a successful influencer campaign is to commit fully to audience analytics. Who are your prospective influencers really talking to? Is their audience closely aligned with your ideal customer? What follows is a list of several questions that can help you better understand a prospective influencer’s audience and whether that audience is the right fit for your brand and campaign.
Do the demographics and location attributions align?
Your audience analysis should begin with demographic and location studies. What is the typical gender, location, age, and income of the people that follow an influencer? What are their interests? Do they have a strong following in a particular geographic area? These details can help you quickly establish a baseline for relevancy. But it’s important to note that a demographic analysis is just the beginning. Brands that don’t dig deeper on audience analysis miss important opportunities to connect their brands with the best possible promoters and advocates for their products and services.
Are you really talking about the same thing?
Real social media influencers tend to speak out about a very narrow range of topics. For example, health is too broad a filter to be useful when you’re identifying influencers. If you’re promoting a rough-and-tumble CrossFit-style brand, that’s going to be more genuine coming from someone in the bodybuilding world than someone talking to an “urban yoga and green juice” audience. Long-tail influencers—people with smaller audiences that are deeply engaged with a particular topic—hold significant credibility within that space. Most importantly, the audiences that opt to follow them are highly qualified leads for your business.
Do your brand images align?
You’re a brand. They’re a brand. How closely do your brand images align? One of the most important elements in audience analysis involves looking for strong contextual relevancy. When the synergy exists, you’re speaking to the same people about the same things. Visual presentation, marketing, and positioning all make sense. Even when there’s a natural subject matter overlap, it’s important that the tone and values of your brands reinforce each other. From an audience perspective, the underlying congruency across similar brands makes campaign messages resonate more deeply.
How engaged is their audience?
Surprisingly, audience size is less important than the level of engagement. However, this makes sense once you think about it. The goal of influencer marketing isn’t just haphazard exposure to a mainstream audience; less targeted brand-building opportunities are already available through advertising and other mediums. The real goal is to build meaningful connections with a specific slice of the market. Ultimately, the success of your campaign will be measured by how much it costs you to recruit each new follower, ideal customer, or whatever key metric you’re focused on.
The more engaged an influencer’s audience is, the more equipped they’ll be to help you reach your goals, from increasing sales to amplifying your content reach. A large following is nice, but an actively engaged audience is better. Important signs of engagement include:
- Shares or Retweets
- Ongoing conversation
- Repeat interactions with members of the community
- Signs that an audience takes action based on content
Are they having natural conversations in a style that fits your campaign?
How does your proposed influencer speak to her audience? Does that type of content sync up with your campaign goals and brand image? One important element is platform. If your brand’s goals are to build a successful following on Instagram, target individuals that are active on that social network. However, it’s not just about the platform; it’s about the relationship that’s being built between the influencer and the audience and the conversations they’re already having. Can your brand enter that conversation in a natural way? Influencers might communicate through straight recommendations, organically participating in the discussions around your niche, developing funny viral content, doing product reviews, and so on. Ask yourself whether their audience is responsive to the kind of content they’re already producing and how that extends your vision.
Are interactions current and topical?
How recently—and how frequently—does an influencer engage her audience about the topics central to your campaign? It’s important to identify accounts that are currently in the middle of the discussion you want to be a part of. Beware of challenges like a focus that’s narrowing or changing over time. A YouTube channel might start with a general fitness focus but end up focusing exclusively on running. Likewise, someone who started out discussing makeup may organically move toward fashion. Even if there’s crossover, content changes signal a shift in audience demographics and interests.
Finding the Right People for Your Influencer Campaigns
But how do you find the right people for your campaigns and manage the associated logistics? Brands are most successful when they identify the right external campaign partner; handling these resource intensive marketing initiatives can strain in-house teams that are already stretched thin. An influencer campaign has several steps: identifying potential contributors; conducting detailed analyses as outlined above; developing campaign guidelines and KPIs; providing creative oversight; monitoring implementation; and gathering post-campaign analytics to inform future initiatives.
FullBottle’s integrated influencer campaign management process uses a proprietary data science approach to identify creators across target networks with audiences that support campaign goals. Account managers help approach influencers, manage communication, and oversee creative. Finally, distribution and analytics are handled through a network of high quality ad and media partners.
Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy to share your content, connect with new customers, and build brand awareness. Investing the time in a detailed audience analysis will ensure you’re partnering with the influencers that are most relevant to your brand and campaign.
Are you ready to explore whether influencer marketing is the right fit for you? Contact FullBottle today to learn more about our solutions.